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Siblings carry on father’s legacy with new business, scholarship

Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2023 at 11:45 am

Papa’s Cabin to kick off with huge party this weekend

By Stan Schwartz

It’s been about a year since their father, Terry “Weiner” Burnett died. And since that time, Tracy Brookshire and her siblings, Chris Burnett and Leslie Fox, as well as Tracy’s husband, Steve, have been working to turn his cabin into a vacation rental spot and the property into an venue for weddings, family reunions and other events.
The property is about 20 minutes south of Bowling Green on Rt. 161, just north of Middletown.
Most of the cabin, which Weiner bought in 2003, has been redone through their hard work. But Tracy said so many people offered help or building supplies that they knew they made the right choice to keep their father’s home in the countryside.
“We have a lot of good friends with nice equipment,” Tracy said. “A lot of people will offer stuff,” she noted, “and I ask how much, and they’d say ‘Oh, your dad was good to me,’” and not take payment.
They were astounded by how many people’s lives their father had touched in his short time on this Earth.
“We had a guy come out and do some brush hogging,” she said, “and when I first talked to him, he said just pay for my gasoline.” But when he was done and loading up, he declined payment saying Weiner was so good to him over the years that he was happy to help out.
Even her high school friends remembered what a good person her Dad was that they were willing to help out.
Stories like that cemented their desire to keep their Dad’s name alive. As part of that they’re offering a $500 Weiner Tradesman Scholarship at the Pike Lincoln Tech Center, where Terry learned auto body repairs and auto mechanics.
“He also did a lot of construction,” Tracy said. Anybody in building trades, welding, mechanics, auto body, will have access to the scholarship, she explained.
Getting the cabin into shape was no easy task. Tracy said her Dad had so many projects going that it took a lot of effort to clear out some of the things that could not be salvaged.
She explained that he hardly ever finished those projects. That was because if someone called and asked for help, he’d drop whatever he was doing.
“Everybody else’s stuff was more important than his,” Tracy said.
She and her siblings offered numerous times to come out to lend a hand with some of those projects. He told them he wasn’t worried about it, so they should not be either.
“It’s been a year of hard work,” she said. And there’s still a lot to do, especially turning the outside area into a proper venue. Steve and Chris were out there wiring the shed in preparation for the bands they have scheduled to appear this weekend.
With so much to do, one would think there’d be a lot of squabbling about who got what and or the kids just selling off the property. Learning how much their dad meant to his friends and the community cemented their resolve to keep the cabin and land and make it so that his name would carry on.
“Dad loved it out here, and we love it out here,” Tracy said. “Just the thought of selling it made us all cry.” Leslie agreed with Tracy. She had just finished cutting the grass outside.
The renovation is actually bringing them closer together.
“It’s fun, quality, family time,” Tracy said, “along with a lot of cussing.”
She showed where the original cabin ended and where all the extra space that was added on. They are currently decorating the place with a rustic look. The beams holding up the porch are actual trees. Inside, a new bar was made from a large plank of wood.
Papa’s Cabin sits on 40 acres with a large pond.
“My Dad called it a plake,” Tracy said. If you have more than seven acres it’s considered a lake. Less than that, it’s a pond.
This Saturday they are celebrating the opening of Papa’s Cabin, with a huge party. Starting at 2 p.m. and going until midnight, they will have live music from three bands—Sundown Shot, Burnt Toast and Clover.
Tracy said everyone is invited, but they should come prepared. Bring your own chairs and rods if you want to go fishing. The lake is well stocked. There will be food and snacks for purchase. And if you make reservations now, you can camp out there, too. There will also be cornhole and other outdoor games, as well as a bonfire. Money from the food and opening-day T-shirt sales go toward the scholarship fund. Freckles & Smoke BBQ will be there as well as Sugar Shack, with flavorful shaved ice.
You can find out more at or the Facebook page of the same name.
One family has already stayed out at the cabin, she said. They thoroughly enjoyed their time at Papa’s Cabin, she added.
And there is one wedding already booked for the venue. In fact, Tracy and Steve were married out at the property. They set up their wedding with the chairs facing the lake.
Once they’re finished with the current project, Tracy said, they have a 5-year goal to expand the venue space and possibly add some more outdoor amenities.
“But all that’s way down the road,” she said.
They always use a fun photo of their Dad for much of their marketing. He was injured on the job, knocking out one of his front teeth. Terry and his girlfriend spent a long time getting the right look for that photo, with his hat sideways and hair disarrayed. Leslie has that photo on the spare tire cover on the back of her Jeep.